The Future of Education Technology Conference: What to See at FETC 2020

From January 14-17, STEAM educators, technology leaders, and curriculum specialists will head to Miami for the fortieth anniversary of the Future of Education Technology Conference. For four decades, FETC has introduced new education technology and organized panels and discussions around the most pressing issues in US K-12 education, including equity and inclusion in STEM and STEAM. 

There’s so much information to absorb at FETC–600 total learning opportunities, to be exact. It can be a challenge for visiting educators with a tight schedule. We’ve prepared this roundup to help you suss out the noise from the revolutionary new tools and thinkers–those with the power to transform your classrooms, improve student engagement and retention, and foster future-ready skills. 

From Tennessee’s Outstanding Tech Teacher of the Year to a twenty-four year old keynoter on engaging Generation Z, here are the people and things we’re most excited to see. Of course, we hope you’ll visit the Ozobot Dome along the way to experience Ozobot Classroom, our new platform that makes it even easier to teach coding and STEAM. Read on to hear how you could be entered to win an Ozobot Classroom Kit and more!

New Session Track Recognizes the Role of Libraries

This year, FETC is introducing new learning opportunities, including an Ed Tech Library Media Specialist track that we couldn’t be more excited about. Since ancient times, libraries have been important hubs for accessing the world’s information, and the Digital Age has proven to be no different. 

We’ve connected with many forward-thinking library media specialists through our work at Ozobot, including Future Ready Librarian and Innovation Director of Instructional Technology Shannon McClintock Miller. We’re pleased to have Miller joining us for a session on Ozobot Classroom and how she integrates coding and robotics in the library. 

Bring 21st Century Skills to All Students with Ozobot Classroom
Wednesday, January 15 from 9:45-10:25 am
Room: 240-241

Preparing Students for a Global Society

Wednesday will be a full day, as it’s also when our Founder and CEO Nader Hamda will present his vision for preparing students for a global society. Nader was inspired to start Ozobot because of his two daughters. In a world where kids consume digital media for six to nine hours per day, Nader didn’t want his daughters scrolling to nowhere. Instead, he wanted to inspire them to create with technology–to gain the skills needed to build apps, algorithms, websites, and more. 

Preparing Students for a Global Society
Wednesday, January 15 from 2 to 2:40 pm
Room: 216-218

When societies almost universally learned to read and write, the result wasn’t a glut of writers and poets, but more informed citizens with agency over their own education and the future. Nader started Ozobot with a mission to give all children access to 21st century skills, regardless of grade level, gender, or socioeconomic status. But tech tools alone cannot ensure equity and inclusion in the workforce of the future; teachers are the most important part of the equation. In Preparing Students for a Global Society, Nader will start a dialogue with educators and leaders, share his vision for a community-powered global curriculum, and discuss other methods to prepare students for jobs that don’t even exist yet. 

3 More Can’t-Miss Sessions, Workshops, & Speakers

At FETC, attendees are an active part of the conference. From roundtables where you can network with education leaders, to small group sessions where you can get hands-on with new tools and ask questions, FETC is all about sharing ideas and pushing education forward. Here are the speakers and sessions we can’t wait to attend!

Social-Emotional Skill Building Through Coding and Robotics
Thursday, January 16 from 4-4:40 pm
Room: 246-247

We may be biased, but we love a session about bots and SEL! In 6th Grade Teacher Lisa Rode’s session, participants will learn ways to incorporate robotics and programming into the culture of an elementary classroom to build a positive, supportive community of learners. In addition, participants will learn how robotics and programming can be used to aid in problem-solving, communication, social skills, and to provide a sense of empowerment for all learners.

Designing The Future That We Envision Through Artificial Intelligence
Wednesday, January 15 from 2 to 2:40 pm
Grand Ball Room C

Montour Schools’ Director of Academic Achievement and Innovation Justin Aglio has weighed in on leadership, STEAM, AI, and personalized learning in publications from EdSurge to Forbes. He’s got a whole suite of sessions lined up at FETC 2020, but we’re most eager to hear how human curiosity and creativity combined with artificial intelligence will transform the future.

Elementary STEM/STEAM Startup: How to Begin and Maintain Success!
Thursday, January 16 from 4 to 4:40 pm
Room: 208

Nikki Russell is a K-5 STEM lab teacher at Orchard Knob Elementary and an Ozobot Certified Educator, plus she was just named Tennessee’s Technology Teacher of the Year! Catch her session for insights, tricks, and dos and don’ts of a STEM lab startup. Nikki has firsthand experience with how to start up a public school STEM lab serving over 500 students each week. Discuss areas of focus for students to be future-ready, inexpensive tools and resources to meet STEM needs on a limited budget, core ideas to help with project/problem-based learning, scheduling, community partnerships design process, and more. 

Bring STEM to Class: A Practical Guide for Education
Friday, January 17 from 8:30 to 9:30 am
Grand Ball Room A

Everyone gets excited about opening keynotes, but we’re looking forward to learning from Fascinate Inc.’s Executive Director, Justin Shaifer. Justin grew up on the south side of Chicago, IL, where he had little awareness of the potential of a STEM career. His worldview changed drastically after experiences at Hampton University. Justin graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marine and environmental science with the highest departmental GPA, and received scholarships from NASA and NOAA. Now 24 years old, he will walk FETC’s teachers, administrators, coaches, and technology staff through unique lesson plans to engage Gen Z in STEM and help them “embrace their inner nerd” despite their surroundings. 

Enter to Win a FREE Classroom Kit at the Ozobot Dome

Last but not least, the Ozobot Dome returns for FETC 2020. This year, we’ll be hosting hands-on training sessions in our 2 Ways to Code in one half of the booth, and leading smart class sessions with our new STEAM platform, Ozobot Classroom, in the other. 

Ozobot Classroom (patent pending) will make it easy to integrate coding and computer science with Ozobot’s robots into lessons for any subject and any grade level—with features that include an interactive educator dashboard, single-click class setup, a Core Coding Curriculum and interdisciplinary lessons, and live lesson insights. For the first time, educators can get powerful real-time insights into student progress and engagement for both online and offline activities. 

After being unveiled and voted Best of Show at ISTE 2019, Ozobot Classroom for Chrome will launch this month and be available to K-12 educators at no cost. Once teachers create an account at ozobot.com/classroom, they will be guided through interactive training in Ozobot’s 2 Ways to Code: on-screen with OzoBlockly visual programming and screen-free with Color Codes. From there, educators can manage students and Ozobots, assign standards-aligned lessons, and receive live insights into online and offline student activity to inform teaching strategies, maximize participation in coding and CS, and improve retention across all subjects. 

Come experience Ozobot Classroom with our staff and Ozobot Certified Educators, and you could win an Ozobot t-shirt for participating. Plus, you’ll be entered to win an Ozobot Evo Classroom Kit! This Kit is new-and-improved for 2020, with a super-cool charging base that lets you store and charge Evos all in one place, plus one full-access Ozobot Classroom license code and Ozobot Classroom Communicator, which provides boosted Bluetooth to up to 18 robots. 

See you at the show!

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